Rooming In: Rest is Healing
Having a baby is exciting, exhausting work. That’s why it’s called “labor.”
Mothers and babies belong together. Rooming-In is provided as part of our family-centered care to help you learn how to rest and care for your newborn.
Rooming-In helps you prepare for going home with your new baby. Many women welcome the idea of getting as much sleep as possible after labor, and it can be tempting to send your baby to the nursery to get some rest. However, research shows you are just as likely to get the same amount of rest with your baby in the room. Having your baby with you right from the beginning is shown by research to be the best way for you and your baby to rest and establish a routine. This is a wonderful time to get to know and connect with your new baby. Babies recognize their parent’s voice, smell, and heartbeat. Having your baby within your presence helps your baby relax. Rooming-In helps you prepare for going home with your new baby and offers more opportunities to learn about your baby’s behaviors and what they mean.
Rooming-In Benefits for Mother:
- Better quality sleep
- Increased confidence in handling and caring for baby
- Ability to learn what your baby’s cues are (sleepy, stressed, in need of quiet time, or hungry)
- Earlier identification of early feeding cues (rooting, opening mouth, and sucking on tongue, fingers, or hand)
- Improved breastfeeding experience
- Less infant crying and distress (they love to be near you)
- Less “baby blues” and postpartum depression
- Parents are better-rested and more relaxed by the end of the first week home
Rooming-In Benefits for Baby:
- Better quality sleep. Your baby will develop a more regular sleep-wake cycle earlier, and may help ease the transition to day/night routines
- More stable body temperatures
- Generally more content, less crying
- More stable blood sugar
- Breastfeed sooner, longer, and more easily
- Lower levels of stress hormones
- Babies exposed to normal bacteria on mother’s skin, which may protect them from becoming sick due to harmful germs
The best advice we can give new parents is to learn how to rest when your baby sleeps day and night in the first days. Early in the newborn period, babies eat frequently, and find comfort and security in being close to you. Learning how to feed your infant can be easier when you learn to read your baby’s early hunger cues and sleep/awake states. Keeping baby with you helps you learn how to feed and care for them while our expert staff is close by to assist you.
To further meet the needs of all patients and families, The Cleveland Clinic offers 24-hour visitation. We encourage you to think ahead about what your wishes will be during your hospital stay. Do you prefer to have round the clock visitors, or will you choose to limit visitors to close family and specific times of the day? We are glad to help you set boundaries in order to help you rest and recover during these first hours and days after delivery. Some parents put a note on their door requesting privacy to rest and bond. Other moms have a “code” phrase to indicate to their partner they are tired and want help asking visitors to leave…it works!
Whatever your wishes, it is our goal to provide you with the best possible care while preparing you to care for your newborn at home. Please let us know how we can best assist you.
Crenshaw J. Care practice #6: no separation of mother and baby, with unlimited opportunities for breastfeeding. J Perinat Educ. 2007;16(3):39-43.
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, WIC and Nutrition Services.
Breastfeeding: Rooming-in at the hospital
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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 3/10/2016…#15275